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Asia, China, K2 from the North

K2 from the North. Our expedition of 22 repeated the 1982 route of the Japanese on the north side of K2 under the leadership of Francesco Santon. The Home Camp was at 12,600 feet at Sunghet Jangal in the Sarpolago valley. We then put a depot at 13,450 feet in front of the K2 Glacier, Intermediate Camps I and II at 14,450 and 15,425 feet, Base Camp at 16,075 feet and another depot at 17,050 feet, just below the start of the climb. We had no porters and had to do all the carrying ourselves from the lower depot on. Camp I was at 18,550 feet and Camp II at 21,650 feet. Between these camps it was dangerous because of traversing steep 45° to 50° slopes with a continuous threat of avalanches. We had to replace fixed ropes and pitons many times. Camps III and IV were at 24,600 and 25,925 feet. From Camp IV to the top the slopes were from 45° to 50° with various kinds of ice and snow. The weather was very bad with snow from the end of June to July 20. On July 31 Agostino Da Polenza and the Czechoslovak Josef Rakoncaj reached the summit at nine P.M. They had to bivouac at 28,050 feet on the descent. On August 4 Sergio Martini and Fausto De Stefani reached the top at two P.M. No one used supplementary oxygen. Ten members climbed to above 8000 meters (26,247 feet), including the film crew of 51-year-old Austrian Kurt Diemberger and Englishwoman Julie Tullis. We had problems with high water in the rivers while returning with camels from Home Camp, which we left on August 25. Three camels and three climbers fell into very cold, swift water but luckily all were rescued. We were away from Italy from April 27 to September 11.

Giorgio Peretti, Club Alpino Italiano